A Awesome Comic Magician Norm Barnhart
Corporate Magic Shows for Minneapolis & St. Paul

Humor, Health & Happiness By Norm Barnhart

A bestselling book states that, “Humor is a good medicine.” Some researchers say that stress contributes to over 70% of all illness. Maybe humor is an overlooked and valuable medicine for the reduction of stress in life.
This medicine can be dished out in huge quantities when we double over in laughter but it also can be measured out in smaller doses to help with the daily ups and downs. When things are going well, humor can help us not take ourselves too seriously and keep pride in check. In the minor difficulties it can help us get over the trouble and look on the bright side.
Humor has a very positive effect in dealing with the minor stresses that pop up in the office and in daily life. The greatest benefits of humor lie in our daily ability to use humor to reduce emotional and physical distress, which may ultimately lead to increased well being.

A Healthy and Humorous Life

Developing a comic vision for seeing the funny side of life is a vital element to keeping a positive attitude. Comic vision is the ability to perceive the humor around us. To develop this, we need to study and discover what tickles our funny bone.
What is the best way to make you laugh? Do you enjoy a joke or funny story? Do you find that a cartoon in the paper brings the biggest joy? Do you like humor that is more visual such as that of a physical comedian or old time movie? Do you enjoy the more intellectual twists on things in life such as the sign at the store: “For your convenience, we will be closed Christmas Day.”
Another example of humor all around us comes from the newsletter, About Women on Campus, published by the National Association for Women in Education, as reported in Chronicles of Higher Education, “More than half (55 percent) of women undergraduates are female.” Newspapers are full of funny headlines, develop your comic vision and start seeing them.
I have a friend who is extremely punny. His favorite style of humor is puns and he has a million stories that have puntastic finishes. Some see this humor of his as pun-ishment.
Study what makes you laugh and do a bit of research to find more of the same. Share it with others and enjoy a laugh with someone. Try out other types of humor and discover how you react to it. A chuckle or a belly laugh, are both helpful in the stress reduction needed each day.
Expand your humorous vision by trying out a few humor prompters that you had not considered before.
Try old comedy TV shows, movies or books and articles by comedians. Look at the world in a different way and see it through another’s perspective. This will help in understanding others as you broaden your horizon of humor.
Once you begin to see the funny side, you will discover that the stressful things in life will still hit you, but you will be stepping over them faster and with grace. This ability to quickly turn things around will help prevent the dwelling on situations that can compile stress in life.

Resources for Humor

There are a few humorous books written in the 1930’s through 1960’s that are absolutely hilarious. Check out the writings of Groucho Marx, George Burns, Jonathan Winters. If you want a great read check out the classic from the 60’s, “Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.”
The finest of the modern writers, I feel, is Dave Barry. Find a collection of his writings and enjoy some laughs as you see the world through his eyes. Dig now for the comic gems at Amazon.com or other favorite sites.
The Web is an Expansive Encyclopedia of Humor
In the old days comedians would keep a joke file (they still do). However in the old days it would be a recipe box or to her container filled with 3 x 5 inch cards with one joke on each card. This catalog would be organized by topic and when a certain situation arose the comic would delve into the file for a good one to use on their audience. Today with the internet there is an abundance of humor, categorized and ready for enjoyment.
he Onion Newspaper is a great source for laughter as they skillfully dissect through satire, current events. Their website has many comic videos that are much smarter and funnier than most skits on Saturday Night Live or any typical sit-com. Curl up some evening around the computer and try a different night of comedy.
You can also find many classic comedy moments from the Golden age of Television on the web from comic greats like, Sid Ceasar, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett and Tim Conway. Also check out complete episodes of TV comedies such as Burns and Allen and Red Skelton. Buy a DVD of classic comedy and enjoy the outcome. Must see – TV!
Also check out the Laurel and Hardy Movies made in the 1930’s or early 1940’s. Toward the end of their career movie producers were placing them in some poor films. But the early work was genius for 30 years! Dig them out and enjoy some of the best such as Way Out West and The Oscar winner… The Music Box! Watching the boys attempt to move a crated piano up a huge flight of stairs is something I’ve enjoyed watching over and over.
A great laugh feast is found in the films of The Marx Brothers, The Ritz Brothers Blondie and Dagwood, Red Skelton, Bob Hope ad Bing Crosby and many others. Cary Grant was in many screwball comedies that were a laugh riot.
A little joy will lift your spirits and just watching the foibles and challenges that the people go through in these movies gives us an appreciation of how good we truly have it. Give yourself a treat and enjoy a laugh. It is a good stress reducer and its good for your health.
Fight Frustration with Fun!
Is there a challenge in your office right now, a frustrating customer or situation? Take a fun break and rejuvenate your brain cells. Mixing things up with a dose of fun can help you discover a solution to the problem. When you look at things differently you might just come up with an idea that you hadn’t considered before.
Bring a few toys or puzzles to work and have them on your desk. Get a rubber chicken and a magic 8 ball to help with decision making. You might come up with some odd or funny ideas but among them could be the gem of an idea you are looking for.
A few moments of fun for you and your coworkers can energize the team and help with dealing with frustrating problems.

Humor as a Teamwork Tool By Norm Barnhart

Does humor have some logical and tangible positive effects on the creative state of mind? Is there a connection between success and your attitude resulting from humor in the workplace? Let’s look at this logical and analytical manner.

Experts say that children laugh or smile an average of 400 times a day. Adults laugh or smile an average of 15 times a day. Adults are missing out on 385 laughs or smiles each day! Does this lack of laughter have a side effect? Is it good to deprive us of the joy that comes from laughter? Can we have greater success in problem solving through humor?

Don’t miss out on the laughter its benefits. Cultivate your sense of humor and see the resulting success in creative solutions to problems and challenges.

Laughter can make us creative because it works out a part of the brain that enjoys discovering the unexpected. A punch line in a joke is unexpected and it triggers a reaction in the creative part of the brain that says, “ah-hah!” The more we enjoy the unexpected side of life the more we will exercise our ability to become aware of different ways to look at situations. The ability to see a problem from various ways is a huge skill when problem solving.

Looking at things from different angles is the root of creativity. Develop this gift you already have and you will make yourself an invaluable part of any team. You will be the idea person who helps the organization come up with productive solutions.

One of the humor’s biggest benefits is the ability to laugh at our failures. Failure is a secret key to success. Thomas Edison “failed” many times as he attempted to make a practical light bulb. He did not look at them as failures, but he felt that with each wrong attempt he was actually discovering thousands of ways to not make a light bulb. This helped him discover the right and successful way.

Babe Ruth swung and missed many, many times and yet the more he swung and tried, the more often he put one out of the park! You may strike out many times, but the more you try the more successful results will come. Move forward from mistakes.

Humor Combats Stress

Studies have shown that people are better able to handle stress and discomfort while listening to humorous recordings than those who listened recordings of non-fiction information or silence or even relaxation tapes. Laughter and comedy can break us free of stress and release the creativity in our minds. This creativity is also the problem solving and solution finding part of the mind. This is what can make us invaluable to our place of work and that is a huge factor in our success in the workplace.


Need a Creative Breakthrough? Step into the Humor Zone!
By: Norm Barnhart

When you find yourself involved in a difficult or stressful project and you need a creative breakthrough, take a short humor break.

7 Things you can do during a humor break.

1) Write a funny poem for a special someone. Children, nieces and nephews are people who appreciate a note and a simple cartoon. When is the last time you have hand-written a note to a sibling. Send a drawing of a funny experience years ago and brighten their day while you exercise your creative mind. A simple start is a Roses are red type poem then move on to limerick or rhyming verse.

2) Draw a simple stick cartoon with a caption. To start you need a place, and character or two. One comments to the other about an object or thing they observe and you have a cartoon. Take it a step further and write several funny captions for your art.

3) Clip a photo from the paper and write several silly captions to go with it. Read the Onion and take a photo from that paper and stick it at the top of a sheet of paper. Write several captions to go below it.

4) Clip a Far side cartoon or other cartoon and stick it to the top of a sheet of paper and write comic captions for this. It will get your mind going in creative directions.

5) Eat a treat in a funny way. Actually imagine yourself in a old time movie and you are Charlie Chaplin eating a Hershey bar or ice cream sandwich. Use your fork and knife… tuck your napkin in your chin with aplomb and act like a high class lord or lady. Just be silly and enjoy the moment. This assumes, of course, that you have a private office.

6) Get up and do a silly walk. If you need lesson on this, study the British TV Comedies by the Monte Python’s Troup. They have an excellent skit where they work at the Government Ministry of Silly Walks. Get up, work out your body and mind at the same time. Then see how your mind is ready to move forward on the duties at hand. This assumes you have a very private office. I do know some creative guys that do art for books and it would be likely you’ll see them doing this or shooting Nerf darts at each other when they are in a creative slump.

7) Inspire someone! Send a handmade quickie card. It can simply be a piece of cardboard cut from the side of a soda pop box. For example take an Orange Crush box, cut a 4 x 6 inch “greeting card” and write, “When the Crush is on I know I can count on you!” Or with Pepsi you might write, “You got more Pep than a Pepsi.” It does not have to be overly clever, just do something a bit creative and humorous and you will discover yourself moving ahead.

8) Write a note of encouragement to a co-worker or friend. Write about a humorous moment that you shared with them. Or tell them something funny that happened to you recently. Keep a copy for yourself to have in your file. When you need a pick me up, remember the funny situation and in this way you can give yourself a humor. Doing something positive for someone makes you more positive. (OK there are 8 but, 7 ways just sounded cooler)

What is your alternative? You could stay chained to your desk steeping in stress with your shoulders slumped and strained from a heavy burden, as if Mr. Universe were sitting on your shoulders. You don’t need that. You can solve this task and a bit of humor will lift you back into your creative zone.

Motivate your staff with the Teamwork and service presentation at Inspire.aces-show.biz


Norm has been selected to do Magic at the MN Magicians Hockey Team home games.
- I will be doing magic for the fans at the games including tricks with hockey sticks, pucks and other fun sports items.